Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Gwrhyr Gwalstawd Leitheodd

Gwrhyr the Interpreter
Gwrhyr Gwastawd Ieithoedd; The Interpreter of Languages

Usually known with the epithet ‘the Interpreter’.

One of Arthur’s warriors and advisors. Gwrhyr was one of the party formed to help Culhwch in his quest to locate Olwen. Each of the party, which consisted of Cei (Kay), Bedwyr (Bedivere), Cynddylig the GuideGwalchmai fab Gwyar and Menw fab Teirgwaedd, was chosen for their particular skills.

Gwrhyr was chosen because he knew all languages and could interpret the language of animals. During the quest to locate Olwen, Gwrhyr first asked for directions from the Blackbird of Cilgwri. That bird sent them to the Stag of Rhedynfrc, who in turn passed them on to the Owl of Cwn Cawlwyd, who passed them on to the Eagle of Gwernabwy, who finally sent them to the Salmon of Llyn Llw.

He also communicated with the piglet Grugyn Silver Bristle, and learned of the boar Twrch Trwyth’s refusal to hand over the comb and shears that he possessed.

Later Gwrhyr was cited as an interpreter at the court of King Arthur when the story of Culhwch and Olwen had been adapted to suit the Arthurian romances. In both Gereint and Rhonabwy he is one of Arthur’s advisors.

Culhwch and Olwen | Late 11th century
Breudwyt Rhonabwy | 13th century
Geraint and Enid | 13th century